April is Stress Awareness Month. The Wellness Universe came together and released a #1 International Best Seller in the Alternative Medicine Reference category on Amazon. The book is filled with tips and tools to help manage and relieve stress, below we share a tool from Chapter 1 by Author Nancy Stevens.
Introduction from The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, 25 Tools for Stress Relief:
We believe in a ‘mind-body-spirit’ approach to wellbeing. The Wellness Universe was created to bring together people around the world who make the world a better place through their support of health, wellness, and wellbeing for mind, body, spirit, and planet.
Complete self-care cannot be achieved unless we nourish all of our parts. Within The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, 25 Tools for Stress Relief, I want to share with you 25 of our top resources from The Wellness Universe to help you manage, reduce, and relieve stress.
Balanced mental wellbeing, I feel, is the foundation for a wonderful life experience. We are more resilient, positive, and empowered when we’re calm, centered, and joy-filled.
Stress can come from tangible and intangible sources. Knowing what decisions to make and what feeds stress or diffuses it is essential to happiness.
This guide is chock full of tools and amazing coaches, doctors, and therapists, to help you through a stressful moment as well as practices to incorporate into your life to manage stress and be proactive about your mental health. This guide is especially near and dear to my heart as I suffer from occasional anxiety. My mindfulness practice along with putting these kinds of tools into action has helped me. This makes me a better person, wife, and leader.
I hope you find at least one golden nugget in this guide that changes your life. I hope you connect with these featured author-experts, WU World-Changers. They are here for you and your total well-being.
~ Anna Pereira, CEO & Founder of The Wellness Universe
The tool shared by Nancy Stevens in Chapter 1 is FINDING CALM IN DAILY ROUTINE, A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE.
YOUR BEST DAY IS THOUGHTFULLY CREATED BY YOUR INNER VOICE SPEAKING ON YOUR BEHALF. SHOW UP AND SHINE!
A Step-By-Step Guide
The simple routine I’m sharing with you is intentional and personal. Think of your routine as the gas needed to power your car. Your routine equals gas that melts stress away by creating calm and focus.
For me, creating and following my morning routine changed my life from feeling untethered to grounded, calm, and connected. It set the pace and tone for my entire day. My morning routine completes and compliments me.
WHAT IS AN A.M. ROUTINE?
Your “A.M.” routine is a set of intentional, personalized actions you do at the start of the morning before your day takes off with commitments and obligations like work outside the home or at home.
WHY CREATE A ROUTINE?
A routine provides structure, sequence, and flow to your daily life. Cultivating a personal daily routine places, you in the driver’s seat. With a personal routine, you control the flow and pace of how you wish your day to start, and this keeps the stress away while promoting calm and peace within you.
Setting and implementing your personal routine isn’t a one-and-done. As you move into this, it’s important to notice what’s working and what isn’t. What feels life-affirming and what feels energy draining. Give yourself time to get used to your new routine for a while. Revise your routine once you know what is and isn’t aligned with your needs. You’ll know your routine is just right when upon completion each morning, you feel connected, cared for, and ready to go!
Four key elements to include in your routine.
- Daily To Do’s
- Materials for the day
Physical actions meant to lovingly prep my body at the start of the day.
Mental and emotional processes tending to my emotional center, mental state, and brain health!
DAILY TO DO’S
A listing of all key appointments and work/life items needing to be addressed and handled today. Most important to least.
MATERIALS FOR THE DAY
What physical items do I need on hand and ready to go today for work and personal use?
CHOOSE AND ASSIGN YOUR ACTION(S) TO EACH ELEMENT
Hydrate with a full glass of water.
Activate your body with some gentle total body stretching.
Coffee/Tea/Juicing if you take in a morning beverage.
Get moving (options) walking, biking, full out run, early morning fitness class, online workout, weight training, yoga workout. Do this as little as ten minutes up to a full workout.
Personal Hygiene: Shower, wash face, brush teeth, hair, makeup
Fuel: Food for later, breakfast if a breakfast eater.
Think, speak, or journal what brings in gratitude as these bubble up within you.
SILENCE AND STILLNESS PRACTICE/MEDITATION/PRAYER
(Option 1) Sitting in silence and stillness: Find a quiet, distraction-free place to be still/silent. Try a five-minute moment or longer.
(Option 2) Listening to a guided meditation from a smart device app.
(Option 3) Walking silence moving meditation 10-20 minutes using nature to nurture and reset.
Recite internally or aloud a loving energizing statement.
Examples: I love myself. My self-love is a blessing. Everything is working for me as it’s meant to. I am resilient and radiate. I’m solutions focused on the best outcome. I trust myself and my instincts. I am lovingly strong and impact others with this gift. I am badass.
DAILY TO-DO LIST
Write out your six most important tasks (MIT’s) you need to complete today based on urgency, job requirements, caregiving, household, community, etc.
ITEMS NEEDED FOR THE DAY
What specific items do you need to use and have on hand? (I now carry my notebook and pen and personal growth books in the car, so when I have downtime, I’ve got something to work on versus surfing social media on my phone.
- Food and Water Bottle/Medicines/
- Phone/Phone charger/Car keys
- Hygiene items
CREATE A SIMPLE AND ACTIONABLE ROUTINE AT A PACE THAT ANSWERS TO YOUR SOULFUL SELF
Example: This is my actual daily AM Routine
5:30-6 am (Day Begins) wake up and get up.
6:10 am (Body) Hydrate with a full glass of water immediately after
waking and after bathroom!
6:12 am (Body) Get my coffee started.
6:15 am (Body) Wash my face and apply my skincare products. I typically shower before bed. If not, I’ll use this time to shower and add in time to dry/style my hair.
6:20 am (Body) Get dressed in work or workout clothes.
6:25 am (Body) Full body gentle stretch with full breaths (3-5 minutes) to awaken my muscles and tissues from sleep mode
6:30 am (Body/Mind) Walk outdoors 15-20 minutes with Doug, the dog. I practice gratitude and connect to God while walking. Nature is my spiritual zone and a must-do for full entry into the day yet to unfold.
6:30 am (Mind) While on my short morning walk with Doug: gratitude practice in silence. Prayer of thanksgiving offered up.
6:50 am (Mind) Once home from walking, seated meditation in my special room in our home 5 -10 minutes.
7:00 am (Mind) Affirmations and personal power statement, spoken quietly with confidence.
7:05 am (Body) Eat light breakfast. If school is in session – help my teen son with breakfast and any request he has for his day.
7:15 am (Daily to-do list) Using my notebook or planner, I sit and write out my most important tasks: MITs, to ensure I’m on top of appointments, client meetings, calls, errands, etc.
7:25 am (Items needed for the day) Gather my materials for the day: In the morning, I teach classes. I keep my ready-packed fitness bag in the car.
Items needed daily:
- Yoga mat
- Filled water bottle
- Energy bar/banana
- Instructor gym bag
- Lavender spritzer spray
7:35 am (Ready to go) Leave the house 25 minutes before 8:00 am class time. Balanced and energetically ready for the day at hand!
My routine is straight forward and simple, with each element following the next. As you create and move into your routine, you’ll know how this feels and whether you’ll revise and edit.
To get started, use this format:
1. Designate a specific element from the four key elements.
2. Assign an action to the element.
3. Choose a specific time.
EAT your routine!
• E. Element (body)
• A. Assigned action (hydrate)
• T. Time assigned to the action (6:15 am)
START SMALL AND KEEP IT SIMPLE. THIS IS YOU LOVING YOURSELF!
Thank you, Nancy, for this straightforward tool that can help us manage stress by implementing a routine and schedule.
Please read Nancy’s full chapter and 24 more chapters and tools to help you relieve stress.
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